Sep/Oct 2002

Welcome to issue #31 of Tape Op.


It's the end of summer, so why have I spent so much time indoors? Making records (check out the new Sleater-Kinney, One Beat, dammit), buying and remodeling a house, moving, going to weddings, editing a magazine, driving to Seattle to see Mission of Burma (thanks to Bob Weston) — so much stuff eats up my time. Speaking of that, I may have a bit more free time now that Andy Hong (aka "The Gear Geek") has agreed to take over as "Reviews Editor" of Tape Op. His reviews have been among the finest that we've run, he's always abreast of new recording technology (uhhh, not my strongest trait), and I think he'll do a great job of it. It would be nice to have a day off sometime soon though. I'm trying to work more freelance engineers into my studio to open up my schedule a bit, so wish me luck. I've heard horror stories of "studio burnout" and I'm trying to steer clear! By the way, it looks like we are doing the Second Annual Tape Op Conference next year here in Portland, Oregon on May 30-June 2. Look to or our new conference website for the most current info. Craig Schumacher of WaveLab Recording is now our man-in-charge of the Conference, so wish him luck and buy him a beer next year! -Larry Crane

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


Columns See more →

End Rant

The Job

by Larry Crane

The other night I finished a session which got me thinking. The project I was working on wasn't all that interesting to me, in fact I doubt anyone besides the artist involved will ever find much...


Gear Reviews See more →

MBC 603, KA 1000, KA 1100

by MBHO  |  reviewed by Martin Chittum

MBHO is a well established German company specializing in high-quality condenser mics. Unfortunately, MBHO is not very well known in the U.S. Originally part of the hi-fi company MB Quart in the early...

SE 1, SE 2000, Z 5600

by SE. Electronics  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

SE. Electronics is one of many companies these days who are marketing Chinese-made condenser microphones for prices which border on the absurd. The company offered my studio a discount rate (on top of...

664 Microphone

by Electro-Voice  |  reviewed by Steve Silverstein

On the back of the Fugs' second album on ESP, they're pictured holding EV 664s in their hands. Hopefully the mics rested on stands, because their large bodies make them awkward to carry. The 664...

Polymer Film Pickups

by Pick-up the World  |  reviewed by Ed Pettersen

Certainly one of the coolest and most inexpensive devices I've stumbled upon over the last couple of years! Pick-up the World pickups are technically contact microphones. (Contact mics were originally...


EQ1-LP and EQ1-DYN Digital Equalizers

by Weiss Engineering  |  reviewed by Larry DeVivo

You know, mastering engineers can dream too. I know what it is like for Tape Op readers to dream about getting that one special Neumann U 47 microphone or that vintage API console, but I am here to...

Holy Grail Reverb Pedal

by Electro-Harmonix  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

What do you do when the guitar player you're recording wants reverb on their guitar but doesn't have any on their amp? Do you "add it in the mix"? Screw that, add it to the amp. The Holy Grail is a...

Holy Grail Reverb Pedal

by Electro-Harmonix  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

What do you do when the guitar player you're recording wants reverb on their guitar but doesn't have any on their amp? Do you "add it in the mix"? Screw that, add it to the amp. The Holy Grail is a...

TLA-50 Tube Compressor

by Summit Audio  |  reviewed by Eric Broyhill

Like it's bigger brother, the Summit TLA-100 and the venerable LA-2A, the TLA-50 has a less-is-more approach, with only two knobs, gain and gain reduction, on its half-rack space panel. There are...

Cool Edit Pro 2.0

by Syntrillium Software  |  reviewed by Scott Colburn

I don't know why the world works this way, but it seems that everyone jumps on the bandwagon like sheeple. What I'm getting at is that most people will choose one item over another based on popularity...

Matrix 805 Speakers

by B&W  |  reviewed by Steve Silverstein

While trends in monitoring come and go, these speakers probably fall second to NS-10Ms as dinosaurs of the nearfield world. Any similarities between the two speakers ends there. The Matrix 805 reaches...

LD-2ube Microphone

by Pacific Pro Audio  |  reviewed by Scott Colburn

When I was contacted about reviewing the LD-2ube and was told that it was a tube mic for $300, I said, "Huh? yeah! I'll check that out." I've used it on every vocal session since then. This mic is...

Wiggler Vibrato/Tremolo pedal

by Electro-Harmonix  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

The Wiggler is a tube-driven vibrato and tremolo stompbox unit for use with guitars, keyboards and more. There are controls for volume (make-up gain after tremolo is something many boxes lack);...

2108 Dual Mic Preamplifier

by Universal Audio  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

I record a lot of drums, and I'm rarely happy with the sound of my snare drums. I mean, they work, and no one else complains, but I imagine how they could sound better. When I first ran kick and snare...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

We Are In This Alone

by The Revolution Smile | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

This band is fronted by Shaun Lopez who used to play guitar in Far. I never would have guessed he could sing and write as well as he does on this CD, which has become one of my hard rock faves of...

Music Reviews

Get Ready

by New Order | reviewed by Larry Crane

I know this came out last year and this band is unhip and supposedly long past its prime, but I beg to differ. I enjoy the hell out of this disc. Sure, the lyrics are embarrassing at times, but...

Music Reviews

Little Airplane

by Blake Hazard | reviewed by Larry Crane

This record was produced and engineered by John Dragonetti (the man behind Jack Drag, remember his interview a while back?) at his Space 67 in Boston. Jack Drag touches abound, of course, but that's a...

Music Reviews


by Sue Garner | reviewed by Larry Crane

Sue is one of the nicest people in music, has a really cool voice, writes amazing, intimate songs, and used to be in Run On. This record was produced by the unstoppable JD Foster (along with Sue), a...

Music Reviews

How Animals Move

by John Parish | reviewed by Larry Crane

John Parish is known as a producer and collaborator, having worked with P. J. Harvey, Eels, Howe Gelb and many more. Here he collects odds and ends from many different studios and sessions over the...

Music Reviews

Building The Wall

by Pink Floyd | reviewed by Larry Crane

A pal of mine slipped me a copy of this bootleg as a present and it blew my mind. As many readers know, I'm a big fan of the Floyd, but I'd never heard this. It claims to be 29 tracks of home...

Music Reviews

Some Boots

by Karate | reviewed by Larry Crane

Karate have released a number of records, evolving into this jazzy, wordy rock band led by our pal and "no expert" Geoff Farina. This record was recorded by our new reviews editor, Andy Hong, and damn...

Music Reviews


by Neko Case | reviewed by Larry Crane

Some people must be born with voices like this. Neko's voice arrests one and makes them listen to her tales and believe her. Maybe you could call this country music if you need a label, but that...

Music Reviews

Benson meets Sangster

by Sangster Meets Benson | reviewed by Larry Crane

Johnny Sangster has become a fixture of Northwest music production, working on many records at Egg Studio and other venues. Robb Benson was the singer/songwriter behind the Nevada Bachelors. They...

Music Reviews


by The Black Watch | reviewed by Larry Crane

John Andrew Frederick and J'Anna Jacoby have been making some of the best pop records to come out of the L.A. area over the last ten years, but nobody seems to notice. Musically they exist in a world...



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